A FEW POINTERS FOR OUR MEDIA
On Thursday, the BBC’s Radio 4 Today show featured an interview with Glenn Greenwald, a former Guardian journalist, and they were talking about the revelations of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Greenwald’s position is that British and American intelligence agencies have been allowed to create a system of mass spying with no accountability and that reforms are necessary.
The BBC interviewer was arguing against the Snowden leaks, saying that they’d been incredibly useful to Al-Qaeda and were now on up on their website and consequently a terrible threat to western security.
Hang on a moment, said Greenwald (we’re paraphrasing here). ‘What website is this? Have you ever seen it?’
‘Uh, uh. . .’ the BBC reporter said, and kept stuttering until Greenwald cut in, ‘You’re just accepting what the government tells you. You’re not being a proper journalist. I’m telling you, there is no such website.’
So Today put the Government’s assertion to Greenwald, and he torpedoed it. Anybody who expects the government to be straight about anything to do with intelligence or foreign affairs is living in a dream world.
So here’s a tip for our current media about cancer statistics and all things medical. We know it’s going to come as a shock, but we offer it as a pointer for free :
DON’T GET YOUR FACTS FROM THE GOVERNMENT. OR INDEED FROM CANCER CHARITIES LARGELY FUNDED BY THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
Whoa, bait and switch, much? What WDDTY are basically saying is that cancer charities and the government are EXACTLY THE SAME in their motivations and biases.
This is transparent nonsense.
However, it introduces a nice ironic twist: if The Guardian is to be taken as a reliable source, as WDDTY’s statement implies, then they have a bit of a problem.
- The medical establishment shielded Andrew Wakefield from fraud claims
- ‘Choice’ fetish spawns mind-meltingly stupid homeopathy policy
- What doctors definitely won’t tell you
- Simon Singh threatened with legal action for criticising health magazine
- How to be beautifully, blissfully wrong about Tamiflu: just call it a bird flu vaccine
- Women and yogurt: what’s the connection?
So: The Guardian, which is cited as a peerless source of great journalism, has repeatedly shown WDDTY to be talking nonsense.
Ah, but wait: I think what Lynne means here is that whenever any source of any reliability contradicts WDDTY, we should always believe WDDTY.
Because the alternative would be to dispute her infallibility.